As one person joins social media platforms every 6.4 seconds, all organizations are making it a point to include social media into their marketing regime. The rise of social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram has especially ushered in many excellent opportunities for the hospitality industry in the UK.
Some of the big players of the hospitality industry in the UK, like the Ritz and the Hilton chain of hotels, are therefore leaving no stone unturned to tap into the potential of social media marketing. They are using social media channels to build an online image and market their services in an effective and affordable way.
Let us have a look at the pivotal role that social media has to play in the hotel industry and how social media marketing strategies are helping hotels boost their numbers and brand value.
Social Media Marketing
Just like social media has emerged to be a ubiquitous part of our lives, social media marketing has gained traction among businesses. So what does social media marketing encompass? Social media marketing involves gaining exposure for a brand by using various social media sites. It can be done by posting social media content or sharing photos or videos.
It is primarily a great way to gain authority for the hospitality industry by helping brands engage with their existing customers and gain new ones at the same time. Social media platforms are also equipped with built-in analytics tools that can be of immense help to hotels to monitor engagement. Moreover, social media often serves as an indirect source of promotion via customer reviews.
How Can Social Media Marketing Help in Promoting Hotels?
Today, we all like to display our lives and share what we are doing or eating or watching on social media. While on vacation, we like to tag the location that we have checked in and the hotel we are putting up in. This could be a golden opportunity for the hospitality industry if harnessed properly.
Ranking as the second largest industry behind retail, the need for social media presence has never been more pressing for the hotel industry. Moreover, with the right kind of efforts on an effective and corporate social media marketing strategy, brands can reap incredible benefits at limited or no costs. They can reach out to millions of customers all over the world and engage with them. An effective social media marketing plan also acts as a catalyst for the brand authority of a hotel. Through their social media handles, hotel brands can let people know who they are and what they stand for.
Moreover, smart-users like to make a well-informed and well-decided transaction on services. The social media handles can serve as an online catalog too. Brands can provide detailed information about the hotel through photos, videos, and other content.
How Social Media Marketing Effects Hotel Industry?
Let us take a look at how the hotel industry can benefit from a well designed social media marketing strategy.
- Better reach over consumer prospects
With a social media strategy, hotelier brands can maintain their online presence. They get a vista to promote their services, amenities, and events to a broader audience. They get to reach out to thousands of potential consumers at a time without having to incur high costs.
- Increase in direct bookings
Social media is the millennial cousin of word-of-mouth advertising. Through references and shared tags, people often make direct bookings via their social media channels. Today, online bookings bring in more than $8 billion in bookings for hotels every year.
- Hire Talented Individuals
Since most of the current workforce is millennials, social media has proven to be a great place to hire talented individuals. Students pursuing hotel management studies spend more time on their social media handles than in any other job-search portals. LinkedIn alone credits to more than 450 million users, thus making it easy to find capable personnel.
- Form & Strengthen Relationships
With social media marketing in the scenario, connecting with customers has become a lot easier for hotels. Moreover, most people barely visit official websites of hotels unless they need a booking. But they spend at least an hour of their day surfing through social media handles. Consistency in social media marketing efforts bridges the memory gap by staying in sight of the customers.
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The Simplest Steps of Social Media Marketing For Promoting Hotels
Social media can be a boon as well as a bane. There are several ways a social media marketing plan can go wrong. For example, bad testimonials on the pages, an exterminated employee posting inappropriate content out of spite or a post that borders on the offensive – all of these could bring down the face value of a hotel brand.
This is precisely why hotels must learn the right steps to promote their brands through social media marketing.
Here is a complete guide with the steps that should be followed.
- Outline the social media strategy
The key to a successful social media marketing campaign is planning. So before brands embark on the journey, they need to identify the audience and what they are interested in. Also, they need to very clear on the combination of social media platforms that they want to use instead of investing efforts and time in all of them.
- Set specific and measurable goals
Without a definite purpose, a social media marketing strategy is sure to fall flat as the team won't know what they are trying to achieve. The objectives must be measurable and realistic. Setting generic goals like "increase the number of social media followers" isn’t enough. Specific targets with definite figures help in measuring the efficacy of the social media plan.
- Optimize the social media pages
Optimization of the social media pages has a vital role to play. This means ensuring the right corporate information is listed on the pages, the accurate location information is available to the visitors, and other information is organized logically. The images for the company logo as well as of the interiors of the hotel should be updated.
- Maintain consistency in activities
Social media isn’t meant for sporadic engagement. Before stepping into the zone, the brands need to have a content plan ready in mind. They should adopt a consistent approach for posting content and know what to post which day. A basic social media schedule will ensure that the frequency of posting is enough to keep the users engaged without spamming their accounts.
- Use paid advertising
Although social media marketing is known for its zero-investment benefit, brands can explore the feature of paid advertising to generate better results faster. Paid social media advertising campaigns come with built-in targeting features which will help brands advertise to specific demographics.
- Engagement with the audience
The crux of social media marketing revolves around engaging with the audience on the various social media platforms. Especially for the hotel brands, it becomes essential that they respond to the queries of their users quickly to eliminate the scope of switching to another brand. They can hire a team of executives and assign the task of replying to comments of skeptical users.
Social media marketing plays a vital role in revenue generation for hotels. It has therefore emerged as an important advertising strategy for brands falling under the umbrella term of the hotel industry. With the help of social media marketing, hotels will be able to ensure that all channels are being utilized to gain the maximum advantage.
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